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Before America decided he was the man to run the country, Donald Trump was a billionaire business tycoon, a reality TV star and – more importantly – a WWE Hall of Fame inductee.

Trump always had business dealings with WWE (formally WWF) owner and promoter Vince McMahon long before The Donald was a regular character on television. In 1988 McMahon used Trump Plaza in Atlantic City for WrestleMania IV, headlined by Randy Savage and Ted DiBiase for the vacant WWF Championship, and the event was such a success that Trump requested he host WrestleMania V in the same venue the following year. To this day, Trump Plaza is the only home that has hosted two WrestleManias back to back. Trump would appear again at several WrestleMania events in the crowd, including being in the front row of WrestleMania XX where he was interviewed by the Guvnor of Minnesota and former WWE star Jesse “The Body” Ventura. This was at a time when Ventura himself was looking to run for President and used the event to ask Trump to support him in his endeavours. The irony of this segment, looking back in hindsight, is colour commentator Jerry “The King” Lawler quipping about Trump being on the presidential ticket. “A wrestler in the White House?” his broadcast partner Jim Ross asks, “Yeah – and a billionaire as Vice President,” Lawler retorted.

Towards the end of 2006 and the start of 2007, Donald Trump got into public spats with Rosie O’Donnell, with the two calling each other out using shows like The View and several Fox News outlets. O’Donnell had been vocal about Trump endorsing Miss USA Tara Conner to keep her title despite allegations that she had been seen drunk and disorderly around bars and clubs as well as testing positive for cocaine, and Trump had fired back by calling O’Donnell a “stupid fat lesbian”. In reality, this was all done for publicity as both of their shows had been declining in the ratings with Trump’s version of The Apprentice having its worst season yet and O’Donnell was looking to bolster her collapsing viewing figures for The View. This led to a segment on the WWE show New Year’s Revolution where McMahon announced the following episode Monday Night Raw he would have an in-ring confrontation between Trump and O’Donnell.

Written for Flickering Myth. Read the full article here.

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